All posts by Rob Betz

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Duchess of Bedford

In 1928, Duchess of Bedford was built for Canadian Pacific by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland. She was built for the Liverpool – Canada service. She entered wartime service in 1939 and served as a troopship until 1947. When her military service ended, she was returned to her owners for restoration and a return to civilian seas. For a time the company considered renaming her Empress of India, but opted instead for Empress of France. She was rechristened and entered Atlantic service in 1948. In 1960 she was sold for scrap. Demolition took place in Wales. Continue reading Duchess of Bedford


Duchess of Atholl

One of four Duchess class steamers built for Canadian Pacific in 1928 was Duchess of Atholl. She was built by William Beardmore & Company in Glasgow, Scotland. She sailed the Liverpool – Canada route and in 1939 was requisitioned as a troopship. Duchess of Atholl’s war service lasted only 3 years. On October 10, 1942 she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the South Atlantic with the loss of 4 lives. Continue reading Duchess of Atholl



SS Cleveland was built for Hamburg America Line by Blohm & Voss shipbuilders in Hamburg, Germany in 1908. She was 607 ft long, 63 ft wide and displaced 16,960 gross tons. Steam quadruple expansion engines were geared to twin screws giving Cleveland a service speed of 15.5 knots. Passenger capacity was 2,841 (239 First Class, 224Second Class, 496 Third Class and 1882 in steerage). Continue reading Cleveland



Launched August 6th, 1902, RMS Carpathia was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at their Newcastle upon Tyne, England shipyard. She was launched on 6 August 1902 and began her sea trials on 22 April 1903. Carpathia’s maiden voyage was on May 5th, 1903. She sailed Cunard’s Liverpool – New York or Boston route in the Summer. Between November and May, she carried immigrants (mainly Hungarian) from Trieste and Fiume to America. Continue reading Carpathia


Caronia (1905)

Caronia and her sister ship Carmania were known as “The Pretty Sisters”. Though not quite super-liners, they were among the largest liners when they were built. They were also an experiment in propulsion by Cunard. Caronia was equipped with more traditional steam engines while her sister received steam turbines. Caronia proved to be the slower of the two at an even consumption of fuel, her quadruple expansion engines requiring more coal to reach 18 knots. Continue reading Caronia (1905)